Identifying pupils with SEND

Guidance for parents, carers, schools and professionals on what they can do when they have concerns that a child or young person might have SEND needs that haven't yet been identified.

Initial concerns

A child of compulsory school age, or a young person, has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

An initial concern may be identified and raised by the child or young person, their parents/carers, SENDCo, school, or a relevant specialist.

If you have concerns about the development of your child or you are a young person with concerns of your own, we would advise you to speak to school or college staff and the SENDCo in the first instance. Find out how to get help.

Meeting to discuss concerns

Within two weeks of the initial concern being identified, a meeting should be held to develop a shared understanding about the child's or young person's needs and agree on next steps.

The child's voice should be captured by a trusted adult (e.g. a teacher, parent, emotional literacy support assistant, or teaching assistant).

Parents and carers may need SENDIASS/advocacy support contact details prior to the meeting.

Record of discussion and next steps

During the meeting, Form A should be completed to reflect the discussions that have taken place and any actions agreed, including potential reasonable next steps for the child or young person. After the meeting, the completed form will be shared with all attendees.

Best endeavours and reasonable adjustments concerns

If after the meeting the right actions are not in place, parents/carers, professionals, or advocates should complete Form B.

Further reading

For further information about national and local authority policy for SEND, and the whole school provision, please see:

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